Saturday, January 16, 2016

weirder classes: the BARBARIAN

so ive been reading some posts about the design of new school dnd classes (Pathfinder and 5th Edition), which is shocking given my disposition towards old school type rulesets (like Labyrinth Lord and LotFP). from these posts, and since i own the 5e phb, i came up with the idea to make weirder old school versions of the 5th edition classes (and later the non-core pathfinder classes). so here is the first post of that sort: the BARBARIAN.

note for rules: i dont normally use prime requisites and have different ability scores, so pr wont be listed and i will provide easy conversions for ability scores. in my games, non-fighter classes dont advance in combat ability (mostly because of how i allow multiclassing), so only fighter-types will have attack bonus/attack matrix. i treat item restrictions differently, but my ruling for that isnt going here, and they will still be listed.

barbarian isnt a class. barbarian is what the "civilized" people call the "uncivilized" people. nah, thats a background, not a class. barbarians go berserk, so they are BERZERKERS

you could be a super-soldier who has broken from the platoon and gone on a sadistic rampage, or you could simply be some manic and violent guard or militiaman, or even a wild thing that was brought up by beasts in the wilderness. berzerkers are unified by violence and anger and inability to be reasoned with.

HIT DICE: 1d8 (see below) (+2/level after 9th)
COMBAT: +1/2 level to attacking
SAVING THROWS: +2 to stamina and strength, -2 to magic and intellect (or as fighter)
WEAPONS: anything that isnt too complicated or weak (no bows, no crossbows, no daggers, etc.)
ARMOR: light and medium armor
XP to LEVEL 2: 2,000

berzerkers have the following class features:

  • if you are not wearing any armor, you can spend points of strength as if it were armor points
  • you begin play with 1d8 grit points in addition to your stamina (constitution) score (if not using my ability score system, have them begin play with 2d8 hp)
  • you receive a +1/2 level bonus to your attack if you attack a different creature on each of your turns in combat (this adds up to a full +level attack bonus if doing that)
  • beginning at level 2, you are able to go into a violent trance. during such an episode, you are unaffected by the world around you and only react to violence. your only goal is death.
  • at level 3, and every third level afterwards (levels 6, 9, 12, etc.), you have a strange effect during your violent episodes. example powers are listed below.
    • darkness vision: you can see in darkness during your violent trances. eyes are humongous and dominated by pupil.
    • forceful bite: if you attack with your mouth during a trance, it deals 1d8 damage. mouth is filled with huge terrible fangs
    • hardened skin: you count as armor 2, even without spending points of strength, during an episode of violence. however, this makes you move slower. skin is only callouses and scabs.
    • monster sense: you can sniff the air to detect a certain breed of creature (this can be done outside of a trance, but at diminished effect).
    • venom: your attacks are venomous, and deal 1 additional point of damage each following turn.
    • really loud shout: can deafen or incapacitate creatures for a time with your incredibly loud shouting/burping.
it is important to note that you must come up with how you got such abilities. also, physical changes do not go away when not in a violent trance, they are simply diminished.

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